Should My Baby Be on a Sleep Schedule?
In looking through the posts in a new mom group that I am in, the biggest recurring topic is that of sleep. Mainly why a baby is seemingly not getting any. But the thing is, your newborn is getting TONS of sleep, just not at the same time as you. The posts especially become more frenzied as our babies are approaching 3 and 4 months old and surely they are supposed to be sleeping through the night by now.
Let me start with the fact that there is conflicting information out there about when a newborn becomes an infant. Some say after the first month. With this rationale, I found that I was placing too many expectations on my daughter, one of them was the ability to sleep through the night. And then something occurred to me; she has still spent far less time living outside of the womb than she had being in it. Of course she wasn’t sleeping through the night, even at 3 months old she is still a newborn to this world and mentally, physically, and emotionally working through new experiences all the time. Once I started to have patience, follow her lead, and not worry about forcing a schedule or trying out a “guaranteed” sleep method, we both became a lot happier. Before I knew it we fell into a nightly schedule, then came the daytime schedule, and life became a little easier.
Of course I know this is subject to change depending on her mental leaps and sleep regressions but I’ll try to go with the flow the best I can. My daughter has gone from waking every hour and a half to sleeping four-hour stretches, and now we are right back to the every hour-and-a-half pattern. In the meantime, when her eyes start to get droopy at night there are a few things that do help her to fall and stay asleep better. Some babies don’t like it, but she LOVES being swaddled nice and snug. A white noise machine has worked great, the nightlight is on, and I sing the same song to her every night. These things have become a cue for her that it’s bedtime. Hopefully by doing a few little things like this consistently, you will have your own sleep training tactics before you know it.
Lisa is a baby-wearing, breastfeeding, cloth diapering new mama. She loves running, yoga, video games and exploring all things about natural parenting.